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What is Cloud Foundry?

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Cloud Foundry is an open source platform as a service (PaaS) originally developed in 2011 for developers to build the first breed of containerized applications. With a focus on developer experience, Cloud Foundry was ahead of its time in providing developers a platform to build, deploy, and run stateless cloud native applications.

Similar to Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry is a continuous delivery platform that supports a full application development lifecycle and allows developers to build, deploy, and run containerized applications.

It uses a container-based architecture to run, update, and deploy apps in any programming language over a variety of cloud service providers – public or private. This multi-cloud environment allows developers to use the cloud platform that suits specific application workloads and move those workloads between cloud providers as necessary with no changes to the application.

While Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry have several features in common, Cloud Foundry offers a higher-level abstraction for deploying cloud-native applications. In contrast to Kubernetes, which uses standard Linux container runtimes, Cloud Foundry uses its own bespoke framework and runtime support called Buildpacks. This additional layer adds a level of complexity to building and deploying applications.


Showing its age and waning support, Cloud Foundry now presents several challenges and limitations to organizations, including heavy costs to refactor and modernize legacy applications to fit the Cloud Foundry platform and the lack of support for newer technologies.

While Cloud Foundry has embraced Kubernetes concepts, it remains a distinct platform. This presents a challenge when Kubernetes workloads are deployed throughout an organization, since there will be multiple platforms to manage. You can reduce complexity by moving towards a common, enterprise platform for all container-based applications in your environment.

Organizations that face the limitations and complexity of continuing to support Cloud Foundry may be looking for alternatives. Red Hat® OpenShift® provides a complete cloud-native application platform for businesses planning to move away from Cloud Foundry and to OpenShift. 

Red Hat OpenShift is an open hybrid cloud solution that supports containerizing and modernizing existing applications, as well as new cloud-native development. As an enterprise-ready Kubernetes container platform for production applications and workloads Red Hat OpenShift supports both traditional and cloud-native applications, allowing them to run anywhere, and enables automation inside and outside Kubernetes clusters.

Customers moving from Cloud Foundry to OpenShift experience the following benefits:

  • Enterprise, Kubernetes-native, application development and deployment platform
  • Support for both stateless and stateful applications
  • Improved productivity with standardized development environment and self-service provisioning
  • Enhanced security with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security, for continuous infrastructure, container, and workload security and compliance. 
  • Significantly reduced hardware costs by running OpenShift on bare metal

Keep reading


What are Red Hat OpenShift Operators?

Red Hat OpenShift Operators automate the creation, configuration, and management of instances of Kubernetes-native applications.


Why choose Red Hat OpenShift Serverless?

Red Hat OpenShift Serverless extends Kubernetes in order to deploy and manage serverless workloads.


Why choose Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh?

Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh gives you a uniform way to connect, manage, and observe microservices-based applications.

More about OpenShift


An enterprise application platform with a unified set of tested services for bringing apps to market on your choice of infrastructure.

A fully supported sandbox in which to rapidly develop, train, and test machine learning (ML) models.

Software-defined storage that gives data a permanent place to live as containers spin up and down and across environments.

A single console, with built-in security policies, for controlling Kubernetes clusters and applications.



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Running Containers with Red Hat Technical Overview

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Developing Cloud-Native Applications with Microservices Architectures

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Containers, Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift Technical Overview